They selectively not only mis-represent the Holy Scriptures, publicly tie the love of our blessed Saviour into knots, alienate faithful Christians from each other in their own interests; they judge and discount the working of the Holy Spirit in an Independent Province of our Church, abuse the gracious patience of the Primate of that same Province, ferment discord and disrespect centuries old Provincial boundaries, now n their latest assault, they try blaming the dear brother who has born the brunt of their vitriolic ugly behaviour for their shameful public displays and lack of control.
And this right on the heels of the dissembling performance by ++Rowan at his press conference yesterday. An example which might have given +Daniel implicit permission for his little stunt today- joined by+Jack Iker.
Of ++Rowan, Jim Naughton of Episcopal Café: The Lead reports
‘but Williams seems to be arguing that bishops not only represent their diocese, but participate in a worldwide ““fellowship,”” that Gene’’s membership in that fellowship is ““questionable”” for reasons that Williams did not elaborate upon, and that he had been excluded for those unexpressed reasons.’
The only thing questionable as a reflection of Anglican faith and tradition, as far as I can see is
the total absence of respect towards the people of New Hampshire and the working of the Holy Spirit among them;
the election, the confirmation of their choice of their candidate for the Episcopacy by the requisite number of American bishops- themselves duly elected, confirmed & consecrated, and the Spirit-filled consecration of that same brother Christian
the discourtesy and shameful public rudeness repeatedly carried out towards the Primate of that same independent Province because of her gender and the grace and intelligence she has shown in execution of her office.
the complete disregard for the autonomy and boundaries of the Episcopal Province of the American Church; fostering dissent, poaching parishes and one diocese to date
the threats, verbal violence & lack of courtesy heaped on one of their own brothers- duly ordained, duly elected, confirmed and consecrated
the willful, selective use of Scripture to misrepresent the Good News of Christ Jesus
and then there’s the whole shameful handling of Lambeth by which ++Rowan’s cowardice; failing as ‘first among equals’ to call those who persist in exposing themselves as bullies of the patriarchy to accountability implicitly confirms all of the above and discounts our LGBT lives of faith as ‘necessary collateral damage’ once again.
If all of this is not questionable Christian behaviour, I’d like to know what is?
Will nothing stop these men in the shame they cause our Church, the scandalizing of untold numbers of laity who have spent their who lives faithfully worshipping and supporting our Church, and the spectacle they make in the media?
++ Rowan’s performance however was old news today, and two of his brother prelates stepped up to take his place- both equally shamefully.
brother ++Daniel, I guess it would be an understatement to say you positively break my heart, and that we disagree on perhaps everything but the punctuation in your statement.
++ Daniel wrote ‘We believe that human sexuality is God’’s gift to human beings which is rightly ordered only when expressed within the life-long commitment of marriage between one man and one woman. We require all those in the ministry of the Church to live according to this standard and cannot accept church leaders whose practice is contrary to this.’
++Daniel, of Christian charity I respect this to be your belief, and even that of the Church of Sudan, which is the only quarter in our Communion for which you are duly consecrated to speak. That said, might I not expect the same courtesy from you as a fellow Christian, and a life-long Anglican?
++Daniel wrote ‘We believe that God created humankind in his own image; male and female he created them for the continuation of humankind on earth.’
Coming from a continent struggling with poverty, starvation, AIDS, over-population in urban centres & drought in too much of the countryside how can you possibly perpetuate such a primitive understanding of our humanity?
++ Daniel wrote, ‘Women and men were created as God’’s agents and stewards on earth.’
Brother if we are in accord on this, why aren’t you speaking to the exploitation, the pollution, the extinction of the same resources of this precious earth, rather than interfering in the life of the Holy Spirit in another province of the Communion, as equally autonomous as yours?
++ Daniel said in his interview ‘God is not making a mistake creating Adam and Eve,”” Deng said, asserting that homosexual activity contradicted Biblical teaching. ““He would have created two Adams if he wanted.’
But did God’s involvement and blessing stop with the creation of Adam and Eve?
Or is God not implicitly present in the blessed birth of all his sons and daughters, made in the image and likeness of the one true living God?
++ Daniel wrote ‘We reject homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching’
That dear brother in Christ Jesus is your opinion. But I might also add that it is an opinion which is not informed by the presence of a identifiable gay and lesbian community in your life, by your own admission. Which perhaps has not witnessed the violence, prejudice and lies these same people have suffered, most often at the hands of purported Christians. Or likewise witnessed the wondrous acts of healing and redemption being carried out by the Holy Spirit as these brothers and sisters consecrate their love and their lives to God within our Churches
++ Daniel wrote ‘We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada in consecrating a practising homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships.
This too is your prerogative, dear brother, but in the context of our Church’s life and transformation it stands as nothing more than a personal opinion or the practice of your Province. To use this as grounds for passing judgement on the working of the Holy Spirit in another Province is an insult to all parties involved, and hardly becoming of one who loves the Anglican tradition.
++ Daniel wrote ‘The unity of the Anglican Communion is of profound significance to us as an expression of our unity within the Body of Christ.’
I would suggest that this is true for every, faithful living Anglican, and for anyone to set themselves up in judgement by suggesting to the contrary would be a great act of disrespect, both for our Communion and its members.
++Daniel wrote ‘It is not something we can treat lightly or allow to be fractured easily.’
And just who would you suggest is treating our Church in this manner, ++Daniel?
++Daniel wrote, ‘Our unity expresses the essential truth of the Gospel that in Christ we are united across different tribes, cultures and nationalities. ‘
I have yet to meet a living, breathing Anglican who does not believe and embody this- inspite of unsightly behaviour in some quarters of the Church. And here, let me clear, I am not referring to our American brothers and sisters in Christ.
++Daniel wrote ‘We have come to attend the Lambeth Conference, despite the decision of others to stay away,’
Brother this is where, sadly, we start to part company. ‘Despite the decision of others to stay away-‘ sadly, that was THEIR decision, and the discourteous manner in which they carried out that decision, did not, I would suggest bring any glory to our Church.
++ Daniel wrote ‘to appeal to the whole Anglican Communion to uphold our unity and to take the necessary steps to safeguard the precious unity of the Church’.
How, dear brother, can those present at Lambeth be expected to singlehandedly uphold our unity without the presence of those same partners who have chosen to boycott & dishonour the current fraternal exercise of prayer, worship and Scripture, without single-handedly capitulating to their opinions and demands?
++Daniel wrote ‘This has not only caused deep divisions within the Anglican Communion but it has seriously harmed the Church’’s witness in Africa and elsewhere, opening the church to ridicule and damaging its credibility in a multi-religious environment.'
With all due respect, Whoa Daniel!
We obviously have two different recollections of the course of the past months in the life of the Communion.
It was not the voices of full inclusion for all baptized who threatened or called schism?
It was not the witness of the transformative Church which publicly dishonoured the gifts and ministry of American Primate, of the Archbishop of Canterbury, of the people of New Hampshire, of the Lambeth gathering, of the polity and people of the American Church and of election of one of their duly elected & consecrated brothers.
Do I need to remind you? Sadly, it was our brothers who decided to set themselves apart from Lambeth, and who invoked GAFCON- mis-representing & insulting the government of Jordan in the process of inventing their own mythology.
So, sadly dear +Daniel, it will come as no surprise to you that I completely repudiate your call for our blessed, radiant brother +Gene to step down from is Episcopacy and to renounce his calling as Bishop.
A scandalous suggestion under any circumstances, but particularly disappointing coming from a Christian brother at a time when in so many quarters it has become so abundantly clear that our beloved Church, upheld by the unfailing grace and compassion of the Holy Spirit is undergoing a transformation and reconciliation to the ‘love beyond our wildest imagining’ of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And with unwavering faith in that same Love, I will carry you in my heart brother ++Daniel
Sadly ++Daniel, you are quoted as having ‘called on the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson to resign to preserve the unity of the Anglican Communion.’ elsewhere you are further quoted as telling him to resign and go home to be a ‘normal Christian’.
Brother, it is this statement, more than any other which moves me in the Spirit to challenge you.
Not only is such a suggestion an insult to the Holy Spirit and Its working in the American Church, we both know it is only the unfailing grace of that same Holy Spirit which can preserve any unity within the Body of Christ.
And it was NOT the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson who engendered this threat of schism in the first place, but those who refuse to recognize that the Holy Spirit could possibly ever act outside the limits of their experience and understanding , those whose witness and practice has repeatedly dishonoured the Communion.
Holy Scripture tells us ‘by their fruits ye shall know them.’
I would invite our GAFCON brothers to cast off their jeuvenile genital fixation and look at Bishop Robinson, the man and the fruits of his ministry, and then to own their own shameful part in the long suffering our Communion has undergone.
As to your comment about ‘normal Christian’ as your brother in Christ, I would dare to remind you that there is nothing ‘normal’ about our lives or vocations as Christians; that in Christ Jesus we are all equal before God and man, having been equally redeemed by the same sacrifice on the Cross.
‘Transformation,’ ‘reconciliation’ & ‘renewal’ it’s not hard for me to imagine how frightening these words must be for some, especially when it’s being carried out in lives the ‘establishment’ prefers to reject, abuse or ignore. But this too, I would suggest dear brother is only further proof that this work of redemption & renewal I speak of is clearly from God, in accordance with our Lord Christ Jesus’ ministry and His promises to the Church.
So of course dear brother, confident in that same ‘love beyond our wildest imagining,’ I will remember affectionately in prayer.
your brother in Christ Jesus, whose Love is indeed beyond our wildest imagining.